Teacher Recommended Strategies to Support Students with ADHD

Teachers have the best ideas for their students – and they love to share what works with fellow educators! Included below are some easy-to-implement strategies and ideas to support students with ADHD that educators have shared in our online course – ADHD: Teaching and Learning Strategies. We think these ideas are too good not to pass along and hope you and your students will benefit from this collaboration.

Smell the Flower, Blow out the Candle
Deb, a special education teacher, uses a visual of a flower and a candle to remind students to take a deep breath to calm down and to refocus. She prompts her students to: Smell the flower, then blow out the candle. We can all benefit from this simple, yet brilliant reminder to take a few deep breaths throughout the day.

Get Everyone Moving
In your classroom, promote physical activity by incorporating “movement breaks” throughout the day. This could be as simple as standing up to stretch, striking a fun yoga pose, or taking a quick lap around the school. Another idea is to throw a “one song dance party” to re-energize and refocus everyone involved. Students can make song requests for upcoming dance parties and they can invite special guests, such as the principal, to join the fun. Many participants in the ADHD course have praised the benefits of GoNoodle which provides free online videos to get kids moving.

Provide Inspiration
What do Michael Phelps, Justin Timberlake, and Lisa Ling have in common? They all have ADHD. Share and discuss this slideshow with students which highlights celebrities who have ADHD and other learning disabilities. Kathleen, a special education teacher, inspires her students to overcome their challenges by displaying a “People Like Me” wall in her classroom featuring smart, successful people who also struggled in school.

Set a Visual Timer
Help strengthen students’ time management and other executive function skills by incorporating a timer into your teaching practice. Amy, an elementary gifted & talented teacher, uses the visual Time Timer as a wonderful option for students who might feel anxious when digital timers are set. (There is also a Time Timer app available.)

Partner with Your School Occupational Therapist
Sarah, a 6th grade teacher, often taps into the expertise of her school occupational therapist (OT) to help her students self-regulate their bodies and minds. OTs are valuable resources who recommend accommodations such as sensory or movement breaks. They also introduce tools such as fidgets, wiggle seats, standing desks, and assistive technology programs to enable students with special needs to be successful in the classroom.


Are you interested in finding out how to further support your students with ADHD? Check out our online course - ADHD: Teaching and Learning Strategies. Learn alongside fellow dedicated professionals who are eager to share their perspectives and expertise. Hope to collaborate with you in class soon!


Jill Rockwell
Jill has over 13 years of experience as a licensed teacher in the areas of Special Education, Reading Education, and Health Education. She embraces diversity and has worked with students in grades K-12 in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California. Jill completed her Master of Science degree at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls while teaching full time. She fully understands the soaring demands of today’s teachers. Her courses are designed to maximize the time of all educators by providing engaging, meaningful, and applicable activities which can be used to enhance teaching practices. She focuses on research-based best practices and technology integration throughout her own instructional practices. Together with her husband and two young boys, Jill enjoys traveling, biking and the changing seasons of the great outdoors in Wisconsin.